This is an on-going series on fun things to do with your friends.
When was the last time you grabbed a girlfriend and took a day to pamper yourself. Here's a suggestion for a fantastic day out and about dedicated to rejuvenating your soul and rekindling friendships that get neglected in the daily grind of our everyday lives.
Start with a light breakfast at Pizzaiolo on Telegraph Avenue in the heart of Oakland's Temescal district. Fuel up on coffee or tea, freshly made doughnuts and bread and house-made granola with yogurt. It will be just enough to fuel you, but not enough to weigh you down.
While driving is oh so Californian, you will have less stress and more time for chatting if you opt for public transportation. From the east bay, hop on BART or the ferry to cross the bay. Once on Market Street, walk over to Third & Mission streets, the next stop on your girls-day-out journey. Visit the newly renovated San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (purchase tickets in advance online to be sure you get in). Aside from the beautiful building, there is so much to see and you’ll almost certainly not view every beautiful exhibit. However, a must see is the Pritzker Center for Photography. This is the largest space permanently dedicated to photography in any art museum in the United States.
Head out from SFMOMA and to the Embarcadero for a little R, R & S - restaurants, relaxation and shopping. Start with lunch at the Ferry Building. There are so many fabulous places. Feel like sushi? Grab a bento box and head outside for an open air lunch. Want a more traditional lunch? You'll find several dine-in options, from hamburgers and shakes at Gott's Roadside to the more upscale Vietnamese cuisine of the Slanted Door.
Now that you are fueled up again, head across the Embarcadero to the Hotel Vitale for a marvelous massage or soak in a tub on the hidden rooftop bamboo garden at Spa Vitale (book ahead). Follow up your massage with shopping back at the Ferry Building... bestsellers from Book Passage, housewares from The Gardener or delectable food items for your pantry.
With packages in hand and shoulders relaxed, take a stroll down the Embarcadero and wind down your day at La Mar , the beautiful indoor/outdoor Peruvian-inspired restaurant at Pier 1-1/2. Start with a drink in the bar, before moving to the main dining room. Better yet, if the weather is clear, head outside to the expansive patio that overlooks the bay.
As dusk turns the wind-swept evening skies orange and purple, head back to the east bay using your last minutes to wrap up stories and to close out your long day of conversation, ever grateful of the special friendships in your life.